December 18, 2012

Kape Chino- Ancestral Dining in Casa Roces Malacañang

Welcome to Casa Roces! A hidden gem in the vicinity of Manila's white house- Malacañang. I've spent 13 years of my elementary and high school life side by side with the palace, yet, I've never heard of Casa Roces until I graduated college. I was very eager to finally visit the place and check out what I've been missing ever since. 

Kape Chino is the restaurant and cafe in Casa Roces which is currently under the management umbrella of the Cravings Group. The menu includes classic Filipino dishes, some of which are even heirloom dishes tweaked a bit for that unique twist.

One will immediately fall in love with the ambiance of the place. It's very cozy and relaxed as if you're just in another friend's house. I love the homey vibe brought about by the furniture and interiors which captures the mood for an intimate get together with friends, families and loved ones. I would say that it is also a perfect date spot far away from the busy and crowded establishments around other cities. 

Choritos En Balsamico (P355)Crispy fried Spanish pork sausages drizzled with a balsamic reduction

A great starter to tease the palate, the pork sausages came out with a strong and distinct smokiness and flavor. A little too salty for me but the balsamic reduction helped to bring out a nice salty-sweet balance to the appetizer. 

Bacalao Caviar (P425)- Salt cod and potato pate

Price may set you back but as soon as you get to taste this warm and creamy pate topped with black caviar, you'll know that it's worth it. I was obviously addicted by the time I got my 4th serving of the crispy toasted baguette. Comparing it to the Espuma Bacalao I had in Cova, this one was lighter in taste and presented without the bits of cod. It was smooth and creamy with a light and delicate taste of the sea. A must try! 

Crispy Lengua Caesar Salad (P160)- Classic salad of romaine lettuce tossed in a tangy Pommery anchovy dressing topped with crunchy ox tongue croutons

A simple ensemble of the classic Caesar with a unique twist of fried ox tongue croutons. Nothing fancy, but then again, the use of lengua was a nice touch to make this a classic best-seller and Casa Roces' signature salad. 

Sopa Molo Castiliana (P195)- a rich garlic soup with steamed or deep fried pork dumplings, poached eggs and parsley

I'm not a fan of molo soup in general, but Casa Roces' version was just so good that I loved it. The molo dumplings were very tasty and meaty while the broth was rich and flavorful. 

Prawns Thermidor Linguine (P390)- prawns cooked a la thermidor served with creamy linguine

A cream-based pasta lover like me will  no doubt love this dish as much as I did. The pasta itself was so good even without much toppings and spices. It was very creamy and tasty while the pasta was perfectly done al dente.

Fettuccine with Blue Cheese and Roasted Mushrooms (P185)- blue cheese and sliced mushrooms on top of creamy fettuccine 

We were served with another cream-based pasta which I found bland and less appetizing than the previous one we had. It was less creamy and I couldn't taste much of the blue cheese either. 

Chicken Adobo Confit (P285)- oven-baked adobo of chicken supreme served with salsa verde and rich adobo sauce

The Chicken Adobo Confit was a unique presentation of the classic adobo dish. It was pleasing to the sight especially with the salsa verde sauce and greens. The dish was too salty for me though, that one would really have to pair this up with rice to balance out its saltiness. Nevertheless, the flavors were bold, rich and simply good.

Lamb Kaldereta (P520)- slow stewed lamb shoulder cooked in spicy tomato sauce served with risotto

A best-seller entree is Kape Chino's Lamb Kaldereta served with risotto. I was excited to try this one as kaldereta is one of my favorite Filipino dish. The meat was tender and the lamb wasn't gamey at all. I just noticed that the risotto was a bit dry and lacks the right creamy consistency that it should have.

Lengua in Mushroom-Cognac Sauce (P420)- tender slices of braised ox tongue in a tomato base with mushrooms and olives

Another best-seller and crowd favorite is the Lengua in Mushroom-Cognac Sauce served with mashed potatoes. Quite different from the usual mushroom white sauce as this one was cooked in a creamy tomato base. The slices of lengua were soft and tender with just the perfect bite and texture.

For thirst quenchers and sweet enders, Kape Chino offers a wide selection of drinks from the classic Sago Gulaman to an interesting Salabat Soda drink. Cap your meals with various choices of sumptuous cakes showcased near the counters.

Sago't Gulaman (P80) and Salabat Soda (P110)

Sago't Gulaman is your pinoy refreshment with tapioca pearls and gulaman that will surely capture the taste of the Filipinos. The Salabat Soda on the other hand is for the adventurous type. Some may not like it because of the ginger taste but it was quite interesting for me. It's basically frizzy lemon lime soda with frozen ginger cubes. We noticed that the gingery taste gets stronger and sharper as you finish your glass.

Belgian Dark Chocolate (P190)

Just saying the name of this cake makes my mouth water. Rich, moist and bitter-sweet, this dark chocolate cake will easily capture your heart with its decadence and melts-in-your-mouth chocolatey goodness. Not only was it topped with malt balls, but it was mixed with some inside the cake as well for that extra crunch.

Loacker Milk Hazelnut Torte (P165)

Included in the 2012 Lifestyle List of Best Desserts, this Loacker mousse cake is a combination of chocolate cake, hazelnut mousse and crunchy Loacker wafers.  It was good and delicious, however, the wafer didn't quite retained its optimal crunch. In my opinion, the Belgian Dark Chocolate should have gotten the award  instead. 

Casa Roces Kape Chino's Menu:

Got some private functions and events? Casa Roces has this art gallery and private rooms for reservation located at the second floor, all of which are named after local newspapers and magazines. 

The rooms showcase beautiful chandeliers, antique tables and chairs, each with its own unique flair. We can't help but admire the beautiful artworks and well-maintained furniture of the 1940s ancestral structure. 

It's Beryllicious Top Picks:
Bacalao Caviar
Prawns Thermidor Linguine
Lengua in Mushroom-Cognac Sauce
Lamb Kaldereta 

Casa Roces (Kape Chino)
1153 JP Laurel cor Aguado St.,
 San Miguel, Manila
Contact Num: 735-5896